A View from Gaiam’s Rooftop

Everett by Everett | January 29th, 2009 | 12 Comments
topic: Gaiam Happenings, Green Tech

Tucked between the Colorado foothills and a watering stop for migrating Canadian geese are the Gaiam corporate offices in Louisville, CO. We have a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains from all west-facing windows, but it’s the view from our rooftop that takes my breath away.

Gaiam's Solar Power SystemSeen here with the snow-capped mountains in the background are our 462 Sharp 216-watt PV modules, which provide 100kW of solar power to the new offices of Gaiam and Natural Habitat Adventure Travel.

Along with the solar panels come 12 SMA 7,000-watt inverters and a state-of-the-art energy management center. This system provides a significant portion of the building’s electricity, and over the next 30 years it will create clean energy equal to 8,600 barrels of oil saved, 7,528,800 car miles not driven, 31,800 lbs. of acid rain emissions reduction, 3,011 tons of greenhouse gas reduction or 14,417 mature trees planted.

Other ways in which Gaiam’s new offices walk-the-walk include the use of low-VOC paints throughout the office, green carpeting and carpet glue, renewable, strand-woven bamboo flooring and cabinetry,  and an organic, zero-waste cafe with fresh, organic food.

Gaiam Solar Electric System Details

  • 100kW Grid-Tied Solar Electric System
  • 462 216-watt Sharp PV modules
  • SunLink racking system
  • 12 SMA 7,000-watt inverters
  • Completion Date: June 2008

Gaiam Real Goods Solar Electric System

Comments

  1. [...] a few of our Gaiam team members and get a peek at, you guessed it, our yoga studio — plus our our solar power system, Gaiam Cafe, Gaiam Garden, filming studio, customer service center, mock retail store and more. Put [...]

  2. This is obviously a very large scale project, which can only be implemented by an organisation with sufficient resources, materially and financially. It’s good to see that more and more is being done to tap into this form of energy. As interest in solar power grows, this will have a beneficial effect for the end user, because production costs should eventually fall, thereby making it a more affordable and cost-effective solution.

  3. Wow, this is a large scale operation that will need lots of care. Although solar panels have come a long way, the battery source will have to be replaced every 1-2 years. If we could somehow harness this and flow it into something that will be able to store it for a longer time period we can implement these on a far greater scale. Time and research and development is the key to this future…

    Flooring Santa Clarita , Greg | August 14th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  4. The roof looks great, and that’s a whole lot of barrels of crude your saving kudo’s for sure. I think it’s a very noble practice to not only be saving energy through the use of a solar system but the full integration of green technology within a building as well. Bamboo is an extremely useful material, easy to grow and is super strong. So is the green carpeting actually green, cuz that would be kind of funny.

    Solar Panel Eli | September 15th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  5. What is refreshing to note is that along with a very large installation of clean energy source, this:
    “Other ways in which Gaiam’s new offices walk-the-walk include the use of low-VOC paints throughout the office, green carpeting and carpet glue, renewable, strand-woven bamboo flooring and cabinetry, and an organic, zero-waste cafe with fresh, organic food.”

    A well-rounded plan and one I am really happy to see!

    David | November 24th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  6. I am concerned as to how much energy goes into the production of solar cells…not to mention the electronics and batteries. Seems that at the point of “payback” the batteries need to be replaced and possibly the inverters etc. Solar cells have a lifespan as well and a steadily reducing output over that lifetime. I hope solar cells can continue to improve. If they were truly ready for prime time they would be everywhere. Free market rules the day. Most people don’t have 30,000 dollars for a system that needs routine upkeep and a long payback period.
    100 dollars a month for electric (with no issues) compared to 30,000 dollars and issues. Power company wins.

    Brian Lehmann | January 4th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  7. We all love the concept of alternative energy solutions, and salute your commitment and the investment you’ve made in this technology. But I haven’t found a practical alternative for the small consumer. And as Brian points out, small consumers will be forced to depend on the power company until they can make a change with some immediate economic benefits.

    Plano Tx | January 25th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  8. Solar power and other alternative sources of power are the way to go to fulfil all our energy needs and help the environment stay clean. The faster we realize this, the better it is for mankind.

    Gaiam has set an example for others to follow. Cheers

    Sandra

    Sandra | May 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  9. Well I’ve got to agree with you, that is indeed an excellent view. More so for the benefits that will be derived from it. Not only will Gaiam benefit from it but all of us as well, as this effort is good for the environment.

    I hope all the other companies will follow suit.

    amy likes solar panel | June 10th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  10. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to see some roof tops becoming usable for solar energy. This is a great project! I’m glad to see a positive initiative in saving our environment.

    Anonymous | September 14th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  11. Oh wow, now that’s a trippy rooftop! Would you get blinded somehow just hanging out there? I’m thinking of “sun tan” hahhaa On a serious note though, I love how this concept is a step towards a greener and more sustainable community.

    Elise | April 3rd, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  12. Nice rooftop. Very budget friendly, continue helping to preserve mother nature.

    Solar Energy List | September 23rd, 2012 | Comment Permalink

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